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The Vodafone Group Foundation Announces New Partners to Give Disadvantaged Young People a Sporting Chance

Published 01-23-08

Submitted by Vodafone

January 23, 2008 - The Vodafone Group Foundation today announces its commitment to two sports projects to help disadvantaged young people throughout the world. Red Dust Role Models and UNICEF's initiatives will both receive funding. These projects are designed to use sport to help young people develop important life-skills.

Dame Tanni Grey Thompson DBE will tonight announce the funding of the projects at The Vodafone Group Foundation Reception, being held in conjunction with KPMG, at the World Economic Forum, Davos.

She commented: "Sport has a positive impact on young people over and above the obvious health benefits. It can help them to deal with problems that affect their day-to-day lives. Red Dust Role Models and UNICEF's projects use proven ways to reach out to young people to communicate life-changing information ranging from how to improve social inclusion to AIDS prevention."

Red Dust Role Models (

Red Dust Role Models uses high profile celebrities from the fields of sport, music and entertainment as positive role models to deliver health messages to young people. It has had great success in Australia and with additional funds of £1.3 million it will extend its work into Fiji & the Cook Islands, India and New Zealand over three years.


One of UNICEF's priorities is to reduce the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on children around the world. The Vodafone Group Foundation donation of £1.5 million will support projects that use sport to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and to help reduce the rate of new infections in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. These activities will empower thousands of young people with crucial knowledge and life-skills to help protect them from HIV infection.

Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE, a special adviser to The Vodafone Group Foundation along with Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, added: "The Vodafone Group Foundation is committed to funding projects that make a difference to communities that most need it. These projects all harness the passion that sport creates to communicate with young people. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the projects over the coming months and years."

About The Vodafone Group Foundation

The Vodafone Group Foundation has invested over £100 million in projects since its creation in 2002 concentrating on disaster relief, helping disadvantaged children via sport and music initiatives and specific projects across Vodafone's 23 local Foundations worldwide.

The areas where Sport and Music can make a contribution and in which The Vodafone Group Foundation Trustees are interested include;

  • Health: increasing awareness of HIV / Aids, tackling heart disease and obesity and promoting well being

  • Education: improving behaviour, literacy and numeracy skills, cultivating citizenship

  • Welfare: alleviating poverty and the development of sustainable economic activity

    During the course of the next three years the VGF will be seeking to make a financial contribution in the region of £12million. The VGF has funded a number of projects within this area through its local foundations and is keen to scale up this engagement and work collaboratively with others who have used sport and music to deliver some of the benefits outlined above.

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF is the world's leading children's organisation, reaching children in more than 150 countries around the world. UNICEF receives no funding from the UN and relies entirely on voluntary donations and funding partnerships with companies and other organisations. For more information on UNICEF's work, visit

    About Red Dust Role Models

    Red Dust Role Models is an Australian based health promotion charity. As a registered non-profit organisation, its objective is to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged youth living in remote or isolated communities.

    Red Dust programmes see the lives of disadvantaged youth enriched through a series of community and school visits. Role Models are trained to effectively convey healthy lifestyle messages and promote education as a pathway to greater opportunities. Elite athletes and other positive role models volunteer their time to visit schools, youth organisations and health clinics throughout the Australian Outback and across the Asia Pacific Region.

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    Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile telecommunications company, with equity interests in 27 countries and Partner Markets in more than 40 countries. As of 31 December 2008, Vodafone had approximately 289 million proportionate customers worldwide. The Company's ordinary shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Company's American Depositary Shares ('ADSs') are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. For further information, please visit

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